Hi-tech car allows grannies to drive

Navigation Tools And Health Monitors Ensure Safety, Boost Confidence

Scientists have built an “emotionally intelligent” electric car that aims to keep people over 65 on the roads for longer.

    Fitted with a range of devices from eye-tracking goggles to biometric technology that monitors heart rates and cardiovascular health, the modified Peugeot iOn will monitor drivers’ concentration, stress levels and driving habits. It is hoped the findings will pave the way for new technology that will instill confidence in drivers over 65 and keep them safely on the road for longer.

    Scientists at Newcastle University developed the technology called ‘Granny-Nav’ and created the so-called ‘Drivelab’ as part of a wider research project that comes amid concern for the safety of elderly drivers. Statistics suggest they are one of the highest-risk groups for injury or death on Britain’s roads. There are now up to six million licence-holders over 70, compared with fewer than a million 35 years ago.

    The findings may eventually lead to a range of new technologies to help elderly motorists. They include sensors that assist with parking blind spots, ‘forward-facing radars’ that warn drivers how close they are to other vehicles, as well as ‘heads up’ dashboard displays projected on to the windscreen. The group will also research new satellite navigation technology that is more suitable for over-65s.